Deep into the days of summer, I’m sharing a post that I wrote last year for my church’s website. With an early spring snow, this year’s garden is behind schedule, but what a treasure it was to discover hearty, red-veined beet leaves during a just-before-dusk weeding session last night . . .
Once the dew dries today, I will amble up to the garden and pick enough tomatoes to fill my Maine Garden Hod. There’s no stopping those plants now, and if I don’t hurry up and pick enough green tomatoes for our favorite relish — well, there just won’t be any green tomatoes up there.
While I’m picking, I’ll take note of the dill’s progress. Two days ago (when I last picked tomatoes, but who’s complaining?) the sprays of small yellow flowers were pale fireworks. Poet, Luci Shaw would say, “They lift their lovely, loose exactness.” Somehow, in spite of their diminutive size, they were still of interest to the honey bees.
However, today, I expect that I will see signs of the flowers going to seed, a good thing if you like to make dilly beans, as I do. I have seen lots of recipes for other delicious and satisfying uses of dill: cold cucumber soup with fresh dill, beautiful heads of dill floating delicately in big canning jars full of colorful veggies.
But for right now, for today, my dill reminds me to dream big, to expect great things, because soon I will harvest all the dill seeds I can capture. They will scatter and flee as I snip the dry stalks, but most of it will make its way into a brown paper bag to dry. Once dry, it will spend the winter in a quart jar, on a shelf in the basement for next year’s dilly beans. If it weren’t for the fact that next summer I will be harvesting bushels of green beans, I might even forget it was there; but summer will come again, and the abundance of this fall will result in crisp, pickled beans next year.
Abundance is a lesson some of us have to learn by rote. My patient husband and I had our first argument (26 years ago) in a grocery store, and the controversy found its gnarled roots in the issue of abundance. He had grown up in a house where the pantry was full and the spice cupboard was a museum devoted to a long history of past recipes. On the other hand, shopping had been a day-to-day thing in my growing up years, and it seemed to me that I had unwittingly married someone who wanted to spend our net worth on food.
I’m still learning about abundance, but not by looking into my full cupboards . . . and refrigerator . . . and freezer . . . and pantry. (We’ve definitely come to an understanding about the merits of a well-stocked kitchen.) Now, when I need a lesson in abundance, I go to the Source. Paul is practically crowing in Romans 11 when he exclaims about the deep wealth of God’s wisdom and His rich and inscrutable nature.
I am exhaust-able, and often exhausted, but I will never exhaust the resources of God and His Word, and so I read and ponder — not to arrive at a “theology of everything,” (. . . but wouldn’t that be great?). I come back to the Source to be reminded of abundance, to dream along with Isaiah and the Apostle Paul about all that God wants to do and His “unsearchable” ability to carry out all that He has planned.
“All these things my hand has made, [says the Lord], and so all these things came to be:”
[dill seed and honey bees,
tomatoes and patient husbands],
“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word,” (Isaiah 66:2)
Tremble at His Word.
Tremble at His abundance.
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